When you take a bus, whether commercial or private, public transportation or a school bus, you entrust your well-being to the driver. You have a right to a reasonable expectation that you will get where you want to go with a high degree of safety. Unfortunately, bus accidents happen every day across the country, and because of the sheer size and mass of these vehicles, bus accident injuries and property damage can be catastrophic. In 2021 alone, Michigan saw 14,972 bus, commercial vehicle, and truck accidents, with over 100 fatalities.
While this is less than the number of total Michigan car accidents, it is worth noting that there are far fewer buses on the roadways than cars. If you have suffered serious injuries in a bus accident, our experienced and passionate Michigan bus crash lawyers at Matz Injury Law are ready to help you fight for compensation.
If you are involved in a bus accident, the steps to take are similar to any other motor vehicle accident. The first thing to do is try to keep calm. Getting angry or placing blame rarely helps. Get medical attention, then file a police report. Document the scene and what happened, and be sure to file a claim within the time limit. Perhaps most importantly, talk to an attorney.
It’s vital to get your injuries examined by a medical professional. Even if you do not feel hurt right away, getting medical attention can uncover injuries you did not know you had, as some injuries take days or even weeks to show symptoms. Getting evaluated by first responders also shows that you take the accident seriously.
When you call first responders, police will likely arrive on the scene. Be sure to file a police report. You cannot use this report as evidence, but it can be important to help you and your bus accident lawyer remember the details of what happened as your injury case proceeds.
Keep a log of any medical treatment you receive, including receipts for doctor’s visits, medical bills, prescriptions, X-rays, physical therapy, and other treatments. Photograph your injuries and property damage. Keep a log of how you feel from day to day after the accident, and keep records of your physical, mental, and emotional state. Track how the accident has affected your life, from relationships to your ability to work.
The Michigan Bus Notice Provision states that you have 60 days from the date of the public, private, or school bus accident to file an injury claim with any regional transit authority involved. If you fail to file within this time limit, you waive your right to sue later. It is vital to file your bus accident claim early.
Personal injury cases involving buses can get complicated. Calling a Michigan attorney may be the most important call you make. A knowledgeable bus accident attorney has a legal team that can communicate with all involved parties, meet deadlines, offer legal advice, and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
Because of the size of the vehicles, their mass, the ease of buses tipping over, and the lack of passive restraints (seat belts) for riders, bus accidents can result in a wide range of severe injuries. These can include back and neck injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, cuts and bruises, and even wrongful death.
One of our clients was a gentleman on a city bus who was thrown to the ground, hit his head, and had a seizure after the bus was hit by a drunk driver. Buses typically don’t have seat belts, and passengers often have to stand because there aren’t enough seats. Even the slightest jolt can throw someone to the ground. Getting hurt during the normal course of the bus starting or stopping will not be compensable, however.
Injuries to the spinal cord can cause a loss of motion and strength, complete or partial paralysis, and even issues with internal systems like your heart and lungs. Your spinal cord is where every signal from your brain travels to your body and back, so injury to this area can have lifelong consequences and cause permanent, crippling disabilities.
Neck injuries can also be spinal injuries. This body area can also suffer soft tissue injuries like whiplash, which can be debilitating and last for months, years, or the rest of your life. A broken neck can even result in death.
Broken bones usually heal within weeks or months, but sometimes they are severe enough that they never heal properly. They can leave you with a disability for life. In some cases, broken bones can require amputation.
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can lead to a severe disability. You may suffer all kinds of mental health issues from a brain injury, including depression, mood swings, cognitive difficulties, and even hallucinations. A traumatic brain injury can result in a lack of ability to control your limbs or even cardiovascular problems.
While most cuts and bruises are superficial, bruises to internal organs can be life-threatening. A cut to a major vein or artery can also be deadly. Sometimes, infected cuts or cuts that are very deep can result in the loss of a limb, infections, or lifelong nerve damage.
Wrongful death means that a family member or close loved one died due to someone else’s negligent behavior. In these cases, you may be able to sue for your losses.
There are many different reasons why bus accidents happen. Depending on the specific circumstances, the cause of the accident can factor into determining how much your settlement is worth. Some common causes include reckless driving, poor road conditions, blind spots, and a driver’s lack of experience.
Reckless driving is at the core of most motor vehicle accidents. It lies at the heart of negligence, which means that the bus driver behaved in a way that was so irresponsible that no reasonable person would act that way. Their negligent behavior led in some way to the accident, and you were injured as a direct result.
Poor road conditions can include issues ranging from potholes to gravel, oil spills on the road, and even sudden sinkholes. It is the responsibility of the bus driver to adapt to poor road conditions and be aware of their surroundings to avoid these risks when they occur.
Buses have large blind spots. Bus drivers are trained to be mindful of these blind spots and the steps to overcome them. If they fail to do so and an accident results, the victims can be compensated for their injuries.
Like all drivers, bus drivers improve throughout their careers. New drivers sometimes make crucial errors. However, lack of experience is not an excuse for negligence, and even a new bus driver can be held accountable for their mistakes.
The factors involved in bus accidents involving private buses versus public transportation are stark. Each can involve different parties and insurance providers. In public bus accidents, the government is responsible, but you must deal with their immunity claims. Depending on the bus type, the bus driver may or may not be able to be sued. Having a dedicated Michigan personal injury lawyer to help you sort out this difference can be vital for getting the compensation you deserve.
Private buses are generally owned by private companies. In these cases, injured bus passengers or other victims can sue both the bus driver and the bus company for negligence. Under Michigan law, filing a lawsuit requires notifying the authority within 60 days of the accident. Your attorney can help you with this notice.
These buses are generally owned by a municipality or government entity. In this case, you cannot sue the driver unless you can prove that gross negligence was involved, such as the driver being under the influence of alcohol or another substance, texting while driving, or being otherwise egregiously reckless.
School bus crashes can be tricky, depending on who is at fault. If the bus driver was not at fault, the crash is treated like any other crash involving a passenger. Personal injury protection (PIP) will still come from their own or their parents’ auto insurance, and if there is none, the assigned claims plan. If the bus driver was at fault, a few more steps need to be taken. Notice should be provided to the school district and any other entity that might be responsible for providing bus service.
If the school is a public school, a claim may have to be brought against the district or city where the school is located. If it’s a private school, it will be handled similarly to a regular car crash. If the bus is a city bus, there can be even more issues and more notice requirements.
The bottom line is if you are injured in a bus accident of any kind, you should reach out to an experienced attorney immediately. In some instances, there can be as little as 60 days to provide the property entity notice of the claim before it is barred.
Most often, the government will pay the claim, but city and local municipalities will frequently claim immunity from lawsuits. In these cases, having a bus accident lawyer in your corner is essential.
Personal injury attorneys experienced in bus crash cases know how to handle these accidents. They know how to navigate between insurance companies, bus companies, and city governments. They understand how circumstances differ between city buses, charter buses, and other types of commercial transportation. They know how to fight for total compensation for bus accident victims and how bus accidents differ from other types of motor vehicle accidents like car accidents.
The right personal injury law office, like Matz Injury Law, can also help you avoid critical errors in your injury claim, such as making incriminating statements to insurance companies, failing to properly notify regional transportation authorities in time, or missing the statute of limitations to file your claim. We can be your greatest ally when you need one the most.
Michigan bus accident attorneys also understand how these injury cases differ from auto accidents and other accident cases. You will have to navigate multiple insurance providers, companies, and sometimes even the city and its claims of municipal immunity, as well as the bus driver and the fault they may share.
In addition, no-fault insurance benefits, also known as personal injury protection or PIP benefits, can grow quite confusing in this area of personal injury law. Your attorney can help investigate and verify the governmental entities, insurance policy coverage, and other factors involved in your case to get you the best settlement possible.
While most of our competitors charge a contingency fee of 33%, at Matz Injury Law, our law firm takes only 22%, hence our slogan: 22, Not 33. If you need advice about Michigan law after a bus accident, contact Matz Injury Law at 866-226-6833 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation today.
You may be able to receive a variety of no-fault or PIP benefits in a bus crash, even if you were a passenger and do not have auto insurance of your own. The benefits you can receive include economic damages that are easy to calculate, and noneconomic compensation, which is more subjective. If the bus driver was at fault, there is likely unlimited insurance, meaning the value of the settlement will only be affected by the value of the injuries, not the policy limit.
Lost wages cover all the wages you have already lost from being unable to work. You may also be compensated for future wages you would have earned and even potential retirement benefits you have lost.
You can be compensated for your doctor’s visits and medical treatment. This includes medication, therapy, procedures, appointment transportation, and in-home care related to your injuries.
Pain and suffering is a blanket term for non-economic damages. It covers everything from PTSD and emotional trauma to loss of consortium, loss of ability to take pleasure in life, loss of comfort and support, and physical pain.
In a wrongful death case, you may be able to collect the above forms of compensation, plus funeral and burial expenses.
Each case is different, and there is no definitive answer to this question. There are, however, some factors that are important in determining the duration. These include the extent of your injuries, how long it takes you to achieve a state of maximum medical improvement, and the type of bus involved in the accident.
If you have been hurt in a bus accident in Michigan, no city office or bus company should stand in the way of your right to compensation. Matz Injury Law has put thousands of miles under our belts representing victims of bus and truck accidents in well-traveled cities such as Grand Rapids, Lansing, Southfield, Ann Arbor, Wayne County, and others.
Contact the law offices of Matz Injury Law today at 866-226-6833 or use our online contact form to schedule your case review and consultation. You will not owe us a dime in legal fees unless we win your case.
$4,150,000 settlement on behalf of the family of a college student who was killed in a traffic crash while riding a motorcycle. The settlement came from three different insurance companies.
$3.45 million settlement against a cement company whose truck crossed a center line causing three deaths and severely injuring a 4 year-old boy. The settlement was $450,000 in excess of available insurance.
$1.74 million settlement against a 19 year-old driver and the fraternity where he was drinking immediately prior to a head on collision that killed a 52 year-old husband and father of 3 children.
$1.3 million Federal District Court settlement on behalf of a mother and daughter in a car/truck collision. Mom suffered a pancreas injury but returned to full-time employment within six months; eight year old daughter suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing learning disability as well as a ruptured spleen.
$1 million settlement for a 52 year-old woman in a rural county who broke both ankles and suffered a retrobulbar hemorrhage of her right eye after being struck by a gravel truck.
Matz Injury Law obtained a $1,000,000 settlement for a woman in Northern Michigan who fractured both ankles as a result of being rear-ended by a gravel truck.
A settlement of $3,450,000 for a family who lost loved ones as a result of an inattentive cement truck driver.
$100,000 uninsured motorist settlement (policy limit) for family of passenger killed in Detroit in suspected joyriding incident.
$1 million settlement on behalf of a 60 year-old woman with a mild closed head injury due to County Road Commission negligence.
$950,000 settlement on behalf of the mother of a young boy who died while a passenger in a one-vehicle crash.
$750,000 to the family of a passenger killed in a collision on an icy road.
$285,000 settlement on behalf of a 52 year-old woman who suffered from fibromyalgia after hurting her shin resulting from an auto injury.
We have earned over 300+ million dollars
for our Michigan clients.
The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.
We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.
We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.
All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.
At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.